To say the Habs have had trouble scoring this season would be an
understatement. Through Thursday’s games, the Habs rank a whopping 27th in
the league in terms of goals per game. Given the relative lack of cap
space (as part of Markov’s remaining salary went to paying
Wisniewski), the scoring solution will likely come from in-house. So who
on the current roster can pick up the slack?
To come up with this solution, I felt it would be best to use a goals metric
Behind the Net that assesses how many goals a each Hab is on the ice in a
given time frame. The model they use is a per-60 minute one, which
extrapolates how many goals for per minute they’re on the ice for over a 60
minute time frame. However, in determining how this relates to a single
game situation, I think it would be best to cut that down to an average forward
on a per-game basis. Thus, I’m modifying the numbers to show on a per-15
minute basis, the 15 coming from the total number of forward minutes per game
(180) divided by the number of forwards generally dressed per game (12).
Long story short, the idea behind this stat is
to identify the most productive players are relative to ice time. In other
words, in a late game situation, who should be on the ice? Here are the
results for goals scored:
So, for every 15 minutes Pouliot plays on the
ice, the Habs score 0.75 goals. As many, myself included, have been saying
all season, it appears he has been largely under utilized, especially when you
consider that these numbers include all powerplay time, something Pouliot
receives little of. I also found it interesting seeing Halpern in there,
another player whose powerplay time is limited. However, it’s safe to
conclude that the numbers are skewed from his torrid start to the season, and
not so much lately. Having seen Travis Moen on the ice in late game
situations has been a head scratcher to us all, so it was reassuring to see him
towards the bottom of this stat – we’re not seeing things, he has just been that
I’d like to think the same concept could apply
to defensive situations as well in assessing unheralded defensive performers.
Here are the results of the most effective defensive players in terms of the
amount of goals scored per 15 minutes of ice time. As was the case
previously, special teams stats also apply here.
As penalty killers are penalized somewhat here,
this is admittedly a little flawed. However, it still is interesting to
note Darche and Kostitsyn at the top of this list. Both are perceived to
be so-so defenders but this shows that the opposition isn’t scoring a ton when
they’re on the ice, even if they are primarily 5-on-5 and 5-on-4 (PP) players.
It also highlighted just how much Boyd struggled with the Habs. (For those
wondering, Wisniewski’s stats do include his performance with the Islanders
which largely explains his presence at the bottom of this list.)
As is the case with any comparison like this,
you can use the difference to derive a per-15 minute +/- rating simply by
finding the difference between the two numbers. Here are those results:
Looking at these figures, a lot of the names at
the top don’t surprise me that much. The ones here that caught my eye in
particular were Spacek for having a positive figure despite not having much
powerplay time now, while Gomez is amongst the bottom feeders despite seeing
regular time on the PP. Though Gomez has produced points wise as of late,
this suggests one of two things – he was beyond terrible to start the year or
still isn’t particularly efficient, despite the recent success. For those
wondering, I’m inclined to believe the latter.
So there you have it, a listing of the most
efficient (and inefficient) Habs out there. Knowing what I know now from
these stats, I’ll be paying a lot more attention to ice time to see if those
unheralded players get a deserved longer look.